I spend a good portion of the year thinking about Christmas, I always have. In recent years, however, much of that year-round thinking involves ideas and wish-list generating for how Santa YEG can evolve and elevate engagement as we endeavor to help more.
The pandemic version of delivering compassion was complicated and, if I’m being really open, had me questioning if we’d do anything at all. The weight of just trying to operate a business and figuring out how to be resilient personally meant my capacity to imagine taking on anything else was limited. Knowing that other, more impactful, charities were hurting more than usual also gave me pause. Would Santa YEG be nothing more than a distraction that might be best shelved until a return to normalcy, whatever that is, could be achieved?
Then, just like every other year, a spark of inspiration set a series of events in motion and Santa YEG was off and running. On Monday at 5pm we announced the “grant a wish” program making two $500 Visa gift cards available to deserving families through community nomination. Less than an hour after announcing it, donors started coming forward as did nominations. By the time Delivering Compassion YEG Day arrived on Friday, miraculously, we had twenty $500 Visa gift cards to find deserving homes for.
In a span of five days we literally went from having no idea how we could do much of anything this year, to seeing the community rally around the spirit of delivering compassion to lift it up once again.
I’ve said many times the work of so many other organizations that are actually solving socio-economic problems far outweighs anything that Santa YEG does or will likely ever do. But the spirit of what we’re doing matters I think. Santa YEG is an enabler. It strives to enable people to participate in simple ways. And if participating is simple, more people will join, and as we see more people participating in doing good for others, more of us will do good for others.
And that’s when I get excited. I get excited to see how sparks of inspiration can lead to bigger ideas and more sustainable impact. I also hope that Santa YEG can provide at least some courage to others to overcome fear. Every year we do this I have to overcome my own voice of fear that whispers in my ear “this doesn’t matter. No one cares about your silly ideas.”
If I’ve learned anything in life by now, it’s that we all have something to offer the world that matters. When your ideas are for the betterment of others, what awaits us on the other side of fear is inspiration, community, and progress.
As we head into a covid Christmas I just want all of you to know how much I appreciate your participation and your enthusiasm to embrace the spirit of Santa YEG. The spirit of this initiative belongs to all of us and it’s incredible to see what we can accomplish when we embrace our differences and connect on our similarities.
Be well everyone.
Delivering Compassion YEG was able to spread kindness and generosity to others, even in amidst a pandemic. Wrapping up the 2020 initiative.Tweet